When beginning a small or residential demolition project many homeowners gloss over the disposal of the waste they will be creating. This is not to say homeowners are unaware that they will need to deal with garbage created from the demolition; but rather that they may not know of the long list of regulations that needs to be reviewed prior to the disposal of their waste.
Many municipalities have strict rules as to what can be put into a landfill. Some of them are common sense like car batteries or toxic oils and greases. Others would not seem as sensible such as tires, paint cans, and computer monitors. Also, do-it-yourselfers can often get in trouble by not knowing that the items they are dealing with are hazardous. A perfect example of this is asbestos shingles. Used as a roofing material up until the 1970's many homes still have these shingles. As you may have heard asbestos fibers can cause a good bit of trouble when they are released into an open air environment. However, since most of these shingles aren't stamped with the word asbestos on them many people don't consider the regulations in place to deal with them. In New York State a homeowner is allowed to pull these shingles off themselves without any issues. However if they choose to employ a contractor for the work, the area must be sealed off and attended to by trained, equipped workers. Thus adding significantly to the expense. The next hurdle to clear for homeowners is the transportation of them. If not secured correctly the asbestos fibers present a real danger, and you will likely receive some for of a penalty. Once at the landfill site, there will be a special section for the shingles, and you must have a signed waiver regarding either if it was a self-done project or contracted.
That is just one brief outline of the disposal of one type of hazardous waste, and that is if you are savvy enough to notice it. One of the best solutions for your demolition project is to pair up with a knowledgeable waste management or dumpster rental company. By doing so you'll have a source familiar with the regulations, and one that assumes all liability in the transport and eventual disposal of the material.
Although this will add to your bottom line of the project by a small margin, it also insures you against the much larger costs of fines and citations. Also, a drop off dumpster rental service does make life a lot easier. But if you are going to move ahead on your own, first make sure you know what it is that you will be working with, the potential risks, and how your community has chosen to deal with its removal. Good luck!
Author Thomas Farley is the head of the waste management firm WNY Dumpster. He has successful navigated dozens of bureaucratic pathways to properly dispose of potentially hazardous material.